Why did you choose to study abroad?
As a Spanish major, I wanted to become immersed in the language to improve my speaking/listening/reading/writing skills. Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to spend four months in an environment where I could continue my education while also experiencing another culture.
How did you choose the country you went to?
My decision was pretty easy, since I had wanted to travel to Europe since I was little and because I wanted to improve my Spanish. However, choosing a city in Spain was slightly more difficult. Ultimately, I decided on Sevilla because of the cost and the classes offered at the university there.
Share one unique experience.
I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, which is also my birthday. It was a total dream come true! My birthday consisted of a traditional Irish breakfast, a German band playing “Happy Birthday” to me (they were staying in the same hostel that weekend) and walking in the town’s parade dressed as a 19th Century sea captain. It was the greatest (and most unique) birthday I have ever had.
How has your international experience changed you?
I am definitely more culturally aware than before and I think a more empathetic person since studying abroad. I got the opportunity to see things from a different point of view so I now approach problems in a more diplomatic way. I am also more willing to help people in the United States who are struggling with integrating into our culture, as I now recognize how difficult it is to live in another country.